Pre-made scones make an appearance in the San Jose area! For those who don’t know, scones and biscuits are very similar, and they can both be either sweet or savory; they contain most of the the same basic ingredients (scones usually have eggs, while biscuits don’t), but they are combined differently and result in different textures — scones are crumbly and biscuits are flaky. Pre-made crumpets have already been offered in upscale grocery stores like Trader Joe’s for several years, but up until last year, scones had to be homemade, or ordered at a local tea or coffee shop. Last year, some Safeway stores in the Bay Area started selling pre-made scone dough in the refrigerated food aisle, but Whole Foods stores in Campbell, Cupertino and Los Gatos are now carrying pre-baked, packaged scones from Sconehenge Bakery. Sconehenge Bakery is a family-owned bakery and cafe in Berkeley, California, which has actually been around for several years, but their products are only now appearing outside the Berkeley and San Francisco areas.
I received a 4-pack of Sconehenge’s Original English Tea Scones as a gift recently; they had been purchased at Whole Foods in Campbell. Sconehenge Original English Tea Scones contain unbleached flours (it’s not specified what kinds of flour are used, but I suspect pastry flour and all-purpose flour), buttermilk, butter, eggs, sugar, baking powder, and salt. That is the ingredient list for just about any basic homemade scone – no chemical preservatives – so that’s good to see. The package label reads, “The recipe for SCONEHENGE hand-made scones contains no artificial additives and is adapted from that used by an English monastary to attract long lines of appreciative patrons.” The whole “baked by monks” story could be debatable, but the taste and texture of the scones aren’t: they’re really good!
The scones had good flavor, and tasted homemade, with no chemical preservative off-flavors; they are crumbly like a scone should be, and sweet, but not covered in frosting like scones sold at coffee shops. They are sweeter than I make my scones (I tend to make my scones only slightly sweet, so you can pile jam or lemon curd on them and not be overwhelmed by the sweetness), but tasted surprisingly fresh for a packaged baked good. Even after a few days (in the fridge), the scones didn’t taste stale, and although they had a firmer texture, they were still crumbly and had good flavor. I wouldn’t say they are better than homemade, but I will say they’re just as good!
For those who want to taste Sconehenge scones fresh from the oven, (or are attending the Berkeley Coffee & Tea Festival this weekend!) visit their bakery and cafe, located at the corner of Shattuck Ave.. and Stuart St., where you can sit and eat breakfast and lunch, as well as buy their baked goods. Their menu offers Mexican breakfasts, as well as American pancakes, waffles, and other favorites. Be advised that the cafe is only open for breakfast and lunch, from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Sundays.
Sconehenge Bakery and Cafe
2787 Shattuck Ave.
Berkeley, CA, 94705
Sconehenge products include 16 scone flavors, including Raspberry, Crystallized Ginger and Lemon, Peach, and Honey Pecan, as well as English muffins, galettes, cookies, brownies, and shortcakes. They all sound like good additions to the tea party pantry. The scones are highly recommended, for convenience (even though making scones is not really complicated) and for flavor. I will definitely look for these again, and try some of the other flavors. When you don’t want to heat up the house by turning on the oven, and can’t take the time for afternoon tea at a local tea shop, but you crave a scone, Sconehenge scones are a great solution! Pair them with lemon curd, jam, or clotted cream, make a nice cup of tea, and you’re set!
Copyright 2012, Elizabeth Urbach.
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For more information:
Sconehenge Bakery website
Sconehenge Bakery Cafe menu
Sconehenge Bakery and Cafe review on Yelp
Sconehenge Bakery and Cafe review on Chowhound
Review of Sconehenge’s Honey Pecan English Tea Scones on Snacktion
Basic scone assembly video with Chef John on YouTube
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